Writing Styles for Formal and Informal Communications

When the average person is in an instant message conversation, he won’t exactly use proper grammar and spelling (“lol” is a very common phrase). When writing a letter of recommendation to a university, one will spell check over and over again. People will talk differently under different conditions, and this surely shows it.

In an informal setting, such as instant messaging as I mentioned above, one needs to communicate quickly. Shortcuts for various words and phrases commonly overcome the need for correct spelling and grammar.

For formal communications, like when writing a letter, the quality of the writing will be very important to the recipient of the letter. One will generally take care to use correct spelling and grammar in his writing.

I often find myself following these “rules”. If you decide to pick them up, you will find that you can be both social and intelligent when communicating with others. if everyone follows my advice, we might have a better Internet (another piece of random advice).


I for one think there shold be no disntinction — write with proper grammar and diction in both instances. Onc eyou get used to it, and learn proper English, it is simpler than you think — for me, it would take me about 10 times as long to write in “IMspeak”, as i’d have to actually concentrate on remembering all these silly shortcuts like “ppl” “plz” “u r” etc. Coming from a college education and having written more papers than I would like to remmeber, typing properly is simply the fastest and most natural way I type. I am not trying to brag here, just saying that once you learn to consistenly type properly, it comes as naturally, or more naturally, than the shortcut version. And, it reinforces the proper skills so you have them when you need them. Last but not least, you sound infinitely more intelligent when writing with proper grammar, even in an IM conversation, and I think it leaves a positive first impression on others.

I definitely feel that proper grammar leaves a good first impression, unless the person you are talking to uses IM-speak, in which case you should use slightly better English than he is using.